Our Poor MPs

After the farmers, teachers, government officials and the Common Man, the latest section of the employed to crib about their wages, have been the downtrodden and backward Members of Parliament. This historically unfortunate class had been earning a paltry wage of Rs. 16,000 – till a few days back. How can one survive on such a nominal sum of money? Is the government blind? Where are those pro-poor activists?

However, steps in the grand saviour of the poor- the Parliament. It approved the bill to save our poor MPs from their plight and give them a bright future – by increasing their wages to Rs.50,000. Not to be seen as miserly, they have even moved to double two allowances of Rs. 20,000 each, that the MPs receive. Thus, now each MP shall earn a basic salary, get two allowances of Rs. 40,000 each and be paid a couple of grants, for every day the Parliament is in session.

But alas! As usual, the government and the Parliament has once again proved that it is not exactly in top form, while dealing with the issues of the poor and the downtrodden. The quite reasonable request that the salary of the MPs be hiked to Rs. 80,001 was cruelly rejected, leaving our MPs a dejected lot.

However, they are brave and strong lads and lasses and not the ones to keep quiet, when a blatant injustice has been committed right under their noses. To raise their voices and to barge in to the well of the Lower House of the Parliament was the work of an instant, for them. Their completely justified protest was registered and the House adjourned, as democracy triumphed once again. What a great victory it has been for the poverty ridden class of our MPs!

The MPs were understandably miffed when they found that they earned less than a mere top Central government bureaucrat. Not being excessively greedy for money, all they demanded, or rather requested, was a solitary Rupee more than the aforementioned bureaucrat. Dissatisfied with a contemptible raise of 300 per cent, the great spirit of democracy was put on showcase, as MPs broke all party lines and united to register their disgruntlement, with whoever was concerned. Ah! What a grand day for the ideals of democracy, this has been. Watch and learn, you dictatorships!

The MPs, quite rightly, felt that they had been mocked – in public, by the Parliament -by proposing such a minor pay hike of 300 per cent. It is indeed sad to note that the pay each MP receives is so insignificant, when considering the work each MP puts in – to run this nation on the straight and narrow path. Add to this mixture, vices such as inflation and the hike in the prices of fuel – the MPs certainly have a grim painting in place of their lives. Did you know that even when all the demands of our MPs have been met, recession hit and floundering U.S.A pays its Senators and Members of the House of Representatives a whopping 13 times more than the MPs of high flying and fast growing India? Shameful indeed! Should it not be a matter of national pride that our MPs be paid much more than any representative in any other country, in this world?

Once again we ask, Is the government blind? Is it fair to deny our MPs such a basic need as a huge salary, especially considering that they have no other source of income?

May you, my dear Common Man, not have the fate of our poor MPs.

Aju Basil James